As the world around us becomes increasingly digitalized, it seems that even the stories we tell have been converted into blog posts and published on the internet. But luckily for fans of oral history, Broadcastr is keeping the joy of storytelling in its original form alive.
The site, which is currently in beta and plans to release iPhone and Android apps by the end of the month, is quite literally a map of stories–all the audio files are tagged by location, Google Maps-style. Browse the tags on the map and you’ll find everything from Ukranian slam poetry to UNICEF reports to personal stories from strangers around the globe.
Half the fun is the randomness of the whole thing–for example, I clicked on a tag in Morocco and listened to a girl tell a story about meeting a gardener that she thought was Muhammad Ali. I never would have listened to that story, but once it came up randomly, I found myself really enjoying it. And when the mobile apps come out, listening to stories about a place as you explore it could be a great experience (Fodor’s Travel Guides has caught on, too–it plans to release audio city guides in the coming months).
Amid the countless digital ways we now record everything in our lives, Broadcastr showed me how fun it is to sit back and listen to voices from around the globe. Perhaps oral histories aren’t dead, they just have a new home on the web.
More on Techland: